Didn’t Get Student Loan Forgiveness? Other Alternatives To Tackle Student Debt

Although the Supreme Court struck down President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program, his administration has canceled close to $48 billion of student debt since June, according to CNN. Nearly 804,000 borrowers received an email that they qualified for student loan forgiveness.

The loan forgiveness program is for those who have opted for income-driven repayment (IDR) plans for their federal student loans. Under IDR, if the borrower can make consistent payments for 20-25 years, the government can forgive the remaining balance.

If you did not receive an email on loan forgiveness, don't despair. There are alternative programs and measures you can go for to manage and eventually eliminate your student debt. These alternatives are for those who have completed their education and for those who are about to join a university.

1.Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you work in a qualifying public service or nonprofit organization, you may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. Under this program, after making 120 qualifying payments, the remaining balance of your federal student loans will be forgiven. This program is an excellent option for those dedicated to public service careers. This allows borrowers to have their debt canceled in 10-20 years.

2.Employer Assistance and Repayment Programs

Some employers offer student loan repayment assistance as part of their benefits package via direct repayment programs or discretionary programs.

In a direct repayment program, the employer can make cash payments to pay the student loan. Under a discretionary program, the employer can take multiple routes, from PTO to signing bonuses.

1) Vacation time: An employee can ‘cash in’ if they do not use all their vacation time or PTO by the end of the year. 

2) 401(k) plan: Set up a student loan repayment program where you and your employer contribute a mutually agreed amount to the 401(k) plan

3) Bonus: Many companies offer a signing bonus that can considerably cut down the debt. 

4) Regular payments: Your employer can either send payments to your lender or you every month via a paycheck.

This benefit is becoming more common as employers recognize the financial strain student loan debt can cause for their employees. Be sure to check with your employer's HR department to see if they offer any programs or benefits to help you pay down your student loans.

3.Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAPs)

More than 200 colleges and universities across America offer LRAP in partnership with Ardeo Education Solutions (formerly LRAP Association). Under this initiative, a student can get assistance on any loan that has a 10+ year repayment term. 

To qualify for LRAP, a student must graduate from the partnered university and work at least ¾ time after graduation. This program often comes with specific eligibility criteria, so be sure to research and apply if you qualify.

4.Refinancing or Consolidation

Consolidating or refinancing your student loans can be a smart move, especially if you have multiple loans with varying interest rates. Consolidation combines multiple federal loans into a single Direct Consolidation Loan, simplifying your monthly payments. If your credit score is good, you might get a lower interest rate. This means saving thousands of dollars over the life span of your education loan while repaying the loan in a shorter time.

Another advantage of having a consolidated loan is to have one fixed interest rate as opposed to variable interest rates which could rise over time.

Refinancing, on the other hand, involves taking out a new private loan to pay off your existing ones. This could potentially lead to a lower interest rate, which can save you money in the long run. However, be cautious when refinancing federal loans, as you may lose access to certain federal benefits and protections.

5.Other Ways

5a: Volunteer or Service Work: Some organizations have student loan repayment assistance if you volunteer or work in deprived communities. AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, for example, offer programs that provide partial loan forgiveness in exchange for a specified period of service.

5b: Teacher Loan Forgiveness: If you teach full-time or are about to become an educator, you might be eligible for loan forgiveness of up to $17,500.

5c: Total and Permanent Disability (TDP): To qualify for TPD, you must have a disability that severely limits your ability to work. In most cases, you’ll have to provide specific kinds of proof of your disability. As of May 2023, around 492,000 borrowers have gotten loan forgiveness through TPD discharge. Veterans can also take advantage of this if they have a permanent disability.

5d: Borrower Defense to Repayment: This is available if you have a direct loan and you have either been misled by your school or the school was found to have violated state laws.


At present, the outstanding education debt in the U.S. is more than $1.7 trillion. The average loan balance at graduation stands at $30,000, three times higher than what it was in the 1990s

While student loan forgiveness programs can be a lifeline for some borrowers, they are not the only solution to tackling student debt. By exploring alternative options like refinancing, employer assistance, etc, you can take proactive steps towards managing and eventually eliminating your student loans. 

For students who will start their academics next year, keep an eye on colleges that receive ‘Title IV financial aid’. These colleges will be obligated to offer adequate financial aid and counselling to students. Additionally, the colleges may not be able to withhold transcripts if the students are not able to pay their bills on time.

“We are raising the bar for accountability and making sure that when students invest in higher education, they get a solid return on that investment and a greater shot at the American dream,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. Biden administration will introduce this new consumer protection for student loan borrowers which will go into effect July 1, 2024. 

7 Big Mistakes You Need to Avoid When Paying Off Your Credit Card Debt

There are lots of mistakes you can make when paying off your credit card debt. It's in your best interest to do everything you can to pay off the debt promptly as it can cost you interest in the double digits. You should set a goal and come up with a plan to pay off your balance. But after that, it is not just time to relax. There are many mistakes you should avoid so you don’t pay more than you have to. Here are some of the common mistake people make most common errors people make when paying off debt:

1. Not having a budget

If you plan to pay off your credit card debt without a plan in place, there is a high chance that the money you plan to put towards paying off this debt is going to go elsewhere. By creating a budget, you are better able to prevent your money from going to wants instead of needs. First, review your monthly budget and see what areas you can cut costs on. This can be food, clothing, entertainment, etc. Use this extra money and pay off more of your credit card debt instead. Check out some of our articles on creating budgets and saving money here

2. Applying for a personal loan with a lower interest rate

Do not assume that you can just replace your credit card debt with a personal loan. It is not trading out debts as one might think. If you have $5000 in credit card debt and you pay $400 a month with 17% interest, it will take you 14 months to pay off the debt and you will pay $542 in interest. If you take out a personal loan with an interest rate of 4%, it will take you 13 months to pay off the loan and you will pay $116 in interest. 

3. Ignoring balance transfer offers

If you are close to paying off your credit card debt, look up short-term options instead of wasting money on paying interest. If you open a balance transfer credit card, you can save a lot of money on interest as these credit cards come with a lower introductory interest rate for a certain period of time (including transfer fees). These rates will then increase to a higher annual percentage rate after this period of time ends. If you are ready to pay off your credit cards within this time period, you are doing yourself a favor by researching balance transfer offers.

Consolidating your credit card balances could save you a lot of money because of the lower interest rate. It lets you live on a more reasonable payment schedule and avoid late fees. 

4. Focusing only on saving money instead of making money

If you have decreased your spending and you still don’t have enough money to pay off credit card debt, consider the amount of money you are currently making. Getting another job or taking up a side hustle to make extra money could help you keep up with your payoff schedule. Bringing in an extra $50 a week makes a big difference. Make sure you have a goal for the money you earn in your side hustle as well as the amount of time you want to dedicate to it. If you have a time frame that you want to do it and an approximate date where you stop, you will be more motivated and less likely to burn out from being overworked. 

5. Not asking for any help

If you are overwhelmed by the amount of debt you have, it might be time to as an expert for help. A credit counselor can help you go over your finances, make recommendations, and come up with a game plan to help you improve. They could help you obtain a credit report, organize your credit accounts, develop a budget, and set up a plan to help you pay off your debt. If your debt is temporary but urgent, you can ask the credit card issuer for a break. Credit card hardship programs are designed for people who have an emergency in which they can’t pay off the credit card debt at the moment since the money has to be directed elsewhere. A little assistance can help you temporarily suspend minimum payments and decrease your interest rate. 

6. Not remembering the residual interest

Residual interest, or trailing interest, is the interest that accumulates in the time period between your account closing and your payment. If you decide to pay down your credit card debt in full, but you schedule it for a few days later, you will be charged interest on the amount you paid for the number of days in between. It can be a small amount of money, but if you don’t pay the residual interest, interest will continue to accrue on this amount.

Many people make this mistake as they think that they have paid the balance in full and not paying it will result in late fees and decrease your credit score. Instead of scheduling a payment, call your credit card company for the full payoff amount as of the date the issuer will receive the payment. After, monitor your credit card statement for a few months to ensure that the residual interest has been paid off. 

7. Losing sight of the future

Paying off your credit debt is important, but your future is also important. If you put all of your money toward credit card repayment, you might be setting yourself up for a lot of financial trouble down the road. In the short term, you might have an unexpected cost come up and no emergency fund to cover the cost if all of the money went toward credit card debt payment. In the long term, you will hurt your retirement savings if you don’t invest early and let compound interest accrue. Even when repaying your debt, you want to think about your life after you make the last payment and keep up with the strategies utilized to get you out of debt rather than going back to the bad habits that helped you accrue debt in the first place. 

About Vola:

Vola Finance can advance you up to $300 at NO INTEREST. Vola Finance can make sure your bank balance does not get too low and alert you before it does so that you don’t pay overdraft or NSF fees. Furthermore, Vola Finance breaks down your spending pattern to help you budget your upcoming expenses and find ways for you to save.

Vola supports over 6000 banks and credit unions and uses one of the nation’s largest bank connection providers to securely establish a link to your account.

Vola is transparent. There are NO HIDDEN FEES Vola operates by charging a subscription fee, there are no other charges. If the features offered by Vola are not compatible with your bank or phone, Vola Finance will refund you your subscription fee.